1 YEAR RELAUNCH ANNIVERSARY || I’m Doing a Q + A!

HELLO PEOPLE! Well guess what!

It’s been a WHOLE YEAR since I relaunched my blog! sure I did forget to post for 3 months after I relaunched the blog, but that’s beSIde the point.

So, to celebrate, I’m DOING AN Q AND A!

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I’ve never actually done a Q + A on my blog before, so I’m super excited! Ask me anything–blogging related, college, life things, book things, ANYTHING–and I’ll answer them in my next blogpost!

So! What are you waiting for??? ASK ME YOUR QUESTIONS!!!

(also I move to college in a week so a. that’s wiLD and b. get ready to see a bunch of back to school/dorm/college posts)

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Book Review: Worlds Beneath by K. A. Emmons

Worlds Beneath

About the Book-

 

I used to think that seeing was believing, but now, as I struggle to stay alive below the ravine, I begin to realize that – good or bad – I will see whatever I believe.

“Who are you, Icarus, that the earth opens its mouth to receive your blood?” Sensei’s words were my last thoughts before I fell into the bottomless ravine, plunging toward my own death, and bringing about Hawk’s at the same time. Or so I thought.

I woke up underwater. I awoke in a strange and unfamiliar world, filled with maze-like forest, shadows, and nightmares seemingly as vivid and dangerous as reality. I had no idea who I was, or how I got there – I couldn’t remember anything, until I remembered her: Hawk. The other half of my soul.

I knew that in order for her to stay alive, I had to survive and find a way out. But that’s easier said than done when you’re trapped in a realm as deadly as your every thought – and dominated by a hierarchy of ravenous wolf packs.

Alerted by a dream, I realize that Hawk has left the Dimension to come find me. For an instant, I rediscover hope. But that hope quickly burns to ash when I realize that we may not be the only ones down here. Someone else with a thirst for her blood may have survived the fall too. And I may have just lured her right into the jaws of a predator even fiercer than the wolves.

My Review-

If you don’t know Kate and her sister, Abbie, you’re missing out. They are some of the most driven, passionate people I’ve ever met, with mindblowing wisdom and inspiration flowing from them to whoever they reach. Kate’s stories (and I’m sure, Abbie’s too) are packed with wisdom and passion and understanding. Worlds Beneath Is no exception.

Worlds Beneath is the second book in The Blood Race series, and it continues the story of Hawk and Ion from book 1, The Blood Race. This book delves into their backstories (mainly Hawk’s), which is heartbreaking, but also beautiful at the same time. The secondary characters from The Blood Race were also brought back again and are gotten to be known a lot better.

Again, the world was so beautifully portrayed and described. Kate has a way with describing scenes that makes one feel like they’re in it without being too wordy. (About ¾ of the way through the book, it started to get a little bit slow, but it was still gripping.) The storyline, as well, was super unexpected and wildly fascinating: it was hard to put down.

(I’ll be honest, I have such implicit belief in Kate’s storytelling and need that to speak to the world that for a while, I didn’t even trust that she was going to end the story well. It was marvelous).

Not only was the story itself a beautiful story of love and truth, the message behind it was also such an important one. While it may not exactly be on the level of The Chronicles of Narnia, it is of similar connection regarding its message: it’s one that requires a lot of thinking post-reading thought.

(Also! I saw something Kate said that said that Book 3 would have quite a bit to do with Ireland, and I’m sO excited because Fin is just amazing and I HOPE–can’t wait–to see his story)

My Ranking-

8/10

Things Liked-

  • The message
  • The post-reading thoughts
  • The characters!!!
  • And their backstories!!!!
  • The scene descriptions
  • Such a well crafted story
  • okAY but that cover though?????
  • The title is sO gooooooooooooddddddddddddddddd and it makes so much sense!!!!

Things Disliked-

  • A bit on the lengthy side?
  • A bit of language, nothing explicitly written out, but there is some

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.

Spotting the Light: Grace Anne || Creative Spotlight – 14

Hey everyone!! Today, we’re doing another Spotting the Light post, and it’s a very exciting one!! We’re interviewing Grace Anne, who was the first blogger I ever followed. Through her, I got to meet lots of other bloggers and get to know this awesome community!!

Grace Anne

IMG_0898-Edit - Totally Graced.jpgGrace Anne is a eighteen year old blogger from the southern US. She is an INFP/INFJ who is passionate about the performing arts, writing, people, and Jesus.

Blog || Instagram || Twitter || Pinterest || GoodReads

What do you blog about?

I blog about a little bit of everything- life, writing, theatre, faith– whatever I’m passionate about at the moment. I have so many ideas and interests, and they all end up on my blog in one form or another.

Where do you get ideas for what you do?

Everywhere! I’m constantly inspired by life and the world around me.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?

Quality >>>>>> Quantity. Always. You don’t have to post every day- in fact, please, please don’t. I would also tell myself not to be scared of other bloggers just because they seem so much more professional or competent. I’ve met some of the best people on the planet through blogging, and I’m so thankful for all of them.

What is your favorite piece of content that you’ve put out?

I actually have two. Back in September, I shared a post in honor of Suicide Prevention Week entitled “Stay” that was really special to me. More recently, I shared a piece of fiction on the blog for the first time, which was exciting.

What made you decide to start writing?

I really don’t know of one specific moment that made me decide to start writing. It’s just always been a part of me. I distinctly remember being in first grade and writing stories with my friends during recess. All of my favorite games growing up involved telling stories in one capacity or another. It’s just always been a part of my life.

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What is your favorite part about writing?

I love creating characters. People are so complex, and getting to tell their stories is something that I love.

What makes a good story?

You have to have engaging, complex characters. A plot is nothing without good characters.

Does writing energize you or exhaust you, and why?

Both. Having a good writing day is the best feeling in the world, and I love stepping away from my laptop feeling as though I can take on the world. But every day can’t be a good day, and writing can be an exhausting process. It’s all worth it in the end, though.

What is your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is working past my own perfectionism. I’m really hard on myself because I want everything that I do to be the best that it can possibly be, so it’s difficult knowing when to step away and finally say that something is “done”.

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Why do you do what you do?

I do it because I cannot imagine my life without it. Theatre and dance are two of my greatest passions, and there is no better feeling than stepping offstage and knowing that all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the piece were worth it.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve leanred from your art?

I’ve learned that I’m capable of doing a lot more than I ever would have thought that I could.

Where do you get inspiration?

I get inspiration from studying those who are better than I am and learning from them. Not copying – there’s a difference – but watching how they do things and and finding ways to incorporate those techniques into my own choreography and performances.

What is your favorite book?

Jane Eyre!

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What is/was your favorite childhood book?

SO MANY. Right off the top of my head, I’d have to say that Princess Academy was a definite favorite. I also loved anything having to do with fairies.

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

Anything by Sleeping At Last. I’m particularly obsessed with the enneagram series that he is sharing right now. It’s stunning.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate chip cookie dough. Or anything involving peanut butter. Or coffee. Honestly, ice cream is just never a bad idea in general.

Blog Tour: Worlds Beneath by K. A. Emmons || Guest Post and GIVEAWAY!!!

Today, it’s time for a post I’m super excited about!! I’m super honored to be a part of Kate Emmon’s SECOND blog tour, for her SECOND book WORLDS BENEATH! If you haven’t read my first post for her first book, The Blood Race, check it out here! Today, Kate is doing a guest post on staying productive and getting things done here on the blog, and then there is a GIVEAWAY for copies of Worlds Beneath!

Worlds Beneath

On Productivity and Staying Productive, by K. A. Emmons


Staying productive in today’s “busy world” can often seem like a daunting task. There’s hundreds of things that demand our time and attention –

So how do we stay productive and get things done?

There’s a lot of great answers to this question, and a lot of different approaches you can take. There are numerous articles online about productivity and organization, and hacks for how to more efficiently tackle your busy schedule and life.

I highly suggest reading around and trying different methods – see what works for you! Everyone is different. But today, i’m going to share with you what works for me, short and sweet:

Discipline.

Now hold on, before you groan and close out of the window, let’s break down this beautiful word.

The most accurate definition in this case, would be the verb definition: “to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.”

So, to further break that down:

Train
Control
Habit

Train yourself to focus – and shut out distractions. To get up every morning with a plan – write things down and execute them as best you can, at least one thing each day. Train yourself just as you would train physically in a gym, or maybe for a performance of some kind.

Control yourself. No matter how disciplined you are, distractions will come up now and again. That will happen. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in, in fact, it’s a GOOD THING. You’ve just been given the opportunity to control yourself; your mind and your desires, and in doing so, you have cultivated your character.

And finally, make a habit of it. There is no shortcut or hack, this is an everyday way of life. Something you must do again, and again, and again in order to master. We are students, learning through life. This is our practice and this is what ultimately keeps us on track.

So, broken down, discipline is actually a pretty amazing word – something to cultivate and aspire to.

It will help you on the good days, and support you on the bad ones. It will be there for you like nothing else can, and it will empower you by showing you that you are in control of your own life and projects.

You can do anything. You can write the book, record the songs, start the blog, rehearse the play, and you can do these things successfully by taking charge of your own time and VALUE, turning off your phone, and giving yourself the respect you deserve.

And by respect I mean respect for your time, your talents, and your energy. Don’t let a crowded schedule, social media, poor time management, etc, rob you of that. Take charge of it!

Practice discipline in life… and in your craft. And I think you’ll find that both will flourish.


About the Author-

KateEmmons

When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. Get connected with Kate on your favorite social platform, and be sure to check out http://kaemmons.com/!

Website || Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram

About the Book-

Giveaway-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour-

1st- Lovely Whatsoevers by Jameson C. Smith (Interview) || 2nd- Hot Town Cool Girl by Nabila (Guest Post) || 3rd- Stories and Soulspeak by Hannah Whatley (Book Review) || 4th- Plottinger Twist by Hannah (Book Review) || 5th- Unicorn Quester by Laura A. Grace (Author Interview) || 6th- Letters to Myself by Hannah (Guest Post) || 7th- Inkwell by Lisa (Book Review) || 8th- Self Known by Rosie (Guest Post) || 9th- Paper Pizza by Kenzie (Book Review) || 10th- Purely by Faith Reviews by Chloe (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 11th- Ivie Brooks by Ivie (Author Interview and Book Review) || 12th- Elly Lily (Author Interview) || 13th- Rebecca Morgan (Author Interview) || 14th- The Book Sprite by Liv K. Fisher (Guest Post) || 15th- Totally Graced by Grace Anne (Book Review and Author Interview) || Day 16- The Red Hooded Writer by Lila Kims (Book Review of The Blood Race) || 17th- Tessa Emily Hall (Guest Post) || 18th- Writings from a God Girl by Medomfo || 19th- Livy Lynn || 20th- RockandMinerals4Him by Hanne (Guest Post and Book Review) || 21st- Audrey Caylin (Guest Post) || 22nd- Literatura by Gracelyn (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 23rd- Poetree by Serena (Book Review) || 24th- The Writer’s Song by Faith (Book Review for The Blood Race and Author Interview) || 25th- Purely Unorthodox by Angel (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 25th- Musings of a Creative Spirit by Stephanie (Guest Post) || 26th- The Artful Author by Jessica (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 27th- Authoring Arrowheads by Allyson Kennedy (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 28th- The Calico Books by Theresa (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 29th- Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors by Abigail (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 30th- Disjointed Babblings by Sarah Addison Fox || 30th- Inspiring Writes by Savannah Grace (Book Review for The Blood Race) || 31st- Oh So Priceless by Kiki (Book Review for The Blood Race and Author Interview)

This blog tour was put together by Livy Lynn.

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5 EASY and PROVEN Tips for Drinking More Water || Simple Health Human Blog Tour

Hello there! Today, I have a super exciting post to share as a part of Vanessa’s blog tour for her new blog Simple Health Human! I’ll be sharing my top 5 tips for drinking more water!

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If you’ve ever seen me in real life, you know that I drink a LOT of water. Although I still generally don’t drink or believe in the recommended “8 cups a day” suggestion, I always try my best to drink as much water in a day as I can. Remembering to drink enough water is tricky sometimes, so here are my top 5 tips for drinking more water every day.

  1. KNOW HOW MUCH YOU’RE DRINKING
    I generally try to drink about 90 ounces of water a day, and in order to achieve a goal like that, I need to know how much water I’m drinking. To do that, I usually drink water from one set container that I know the volume of, to make it easier for me to count. The container I use is a quart Mason jar with a plastic lid*, which is a HUGE container (and a little bulky to carry around), but I like using bigger containers because they’re easier to keep track of.  It’s a lot easier to remember that you’ve had 3 jars of water instead of 8 cups!
  2. CARRY WATER AROUND WITH YOU
    You can’t have water if you don’t have any, so in order to stay well hydrated, bring a water bottle of some sort around with you! There are so many cute water bottles everywhere that aren’t very expensive, and carrying it around makes it so much more likely that you’ll drink water!
  3. COUNTERACT THE CAFFEINE
    Caffeine is a diuretic, so if you have coffee (or anything else with caffeine), make sure you’re drinking water along with it! I *try* to drink twice the amount of water as my caffeine (so 6 ounces of coffee = 12 ounces of water) on top of my regular water, but even if that doesn’t work, I always drink water before and after I drink coffee. Drinking water with your caffeine will ensure you stay well hydrated!
  4. USE A STRAW
    I find that I’ll drink a lot more water if I’m using a straw to drink it, so I have a stainless steel straw* (save the turtles!!) that I like to use to make it easier to drink my water. Using a straw makes it a lot more convenient to drink water, and is a super easy way to help yourself.
  5. MAKE IT FUN
    The *only* thing you can’t put in your water is caffeine (so no coffee or tea), but aside from that, you can put other things in your water to make it more fun! Put in some ice, lemon, mint, or even those water flavor drops* to make your water taste better.
    Another way to make your water fun is to know how much you need to drink as the day progresses, so you have a way to tell if you’re on track or not and am not stressed about it. You can make a tracker on your water bottle (or even buy a water bottle with a tracker*!) or set a timer on your phone. So long as you remember, do it however works for you!

So there you have it: 5 easy and proven tips for drinking more water! What are some of the tips you have for drinking water? What are some things you like to put in your water? Tell me! I’m always looking for new infused water recipes! Have you checked out Simple Health Human yet?

*some links are affiliate

Spotting the Light: Nabila || Creative Spotlight – 13

Hi everyone! Today, we’re doing another Spotting the Light post, all about Nabila from Hot Town Cool Girl!

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Nabila is a teen blogger currently living in Texas! Her favorite things to do include blogging, taking photos, acting, writing, presenting, and binge watching her favorite Netflix shows. She is also a ESFJ and unlike many other bloggers, she is a total extrovert. 🙂

Blog || Instagram || Pinterest || GoodReads


What do you blog about?

I post about quite a bit of stuff on my blog including books, blogging, fashion, tips for teens, and just general lifestyle.

What made you decide to start blogging?

My initial interest came from seeing one of my friends blogging when I was in 3rd grade! I was probably jealous and just thought the idea was so cool! Both of my parents also had blogs at that point so it was a bit that as well.

Where do you get ideas for what you do?

Mostly from the world around me. The world is this crazy amazing place with all of this diversity of people and people and ideas it honestly blows my mind.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?

Ok stop. And look at some of your fellow kid bloggers. Yes there actually are some. Now actually talk to them. NO ONE LIKES A LONELY HERMIT and friends are one of the best things in the world. Ok now change your design. It’s lonely and dark and honestly kind of depressing. Just saying. But also seriously just be yourself and don’t ever be embarrassed to try something new. 🙂

Describe your blogging process, from idea to post

I usually think of an idea and then write it down. Before I start actually writing I will have a general layout drawn out in my head and then I’ll start actually writing it. It usually takes me a couple days with school. Once I’m done writing I will first add pictures and then make my title/featured graphic.

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What is your biggest challenge?

I think my biggest challenge is just myself. I find myself so often not doing something just because I am scared and embarrassed.

What is your favorite book?

I have no idea what my favorite book is of all time buuuutttt I just recently read two books I really loved: Randoms and Court Of Fives. They were both so good and I would definitely recommend!

What is/was your favorite childhood book?

I’m still a kid (well teen but you know) lol. I was actually obessed with Geronimo Stilton when I was in maybe 2nd and 3rd grade. Like I even did a whole report on them. Or at least untill I figured out Geronimo was not an actual person (we were supposed to do it on a person).

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

I can’t pick one but I’ve been loving Grace Vanderwaal, Troye Sivan, and Dodie!

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookies and Creme all the way!


Thank you, Nabila, for being here today! Be sure to check her out-

Blog || Instagram || Pinterest || GoodReads

 

Book Review: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

fawkes

About the Book-

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

My Review-

I’ve heard about Nadine Brandes’ books all over the internet, and follow her amazing Instagram, but hadn’t actually read any of her books, until now! (Her Out of Time series is also on my TBR . . . I just haven’t read it yet!)

Fawkes is about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but it’s not historical fiction! It is, instead, a historical fantasy almost-allegorical retelling of the event, and it’s a lot of fun!

Initially, getting into the world is a little difficult and the entire beginning/middle of the book is a bit slow. The world is set up very well (which is needed, because of the alternate universe type setting that it’s in), but sometimes it felt a little bit too much.

Part of this was probably also because of Thomas, the protagonist. He was very difficult to like, and for a lot of the book, seemed increDIbly dense. I’m also not sure how I feel about Guy Fawkes himself, or, for that matter, his group of friends. (And yes, I understand that was intentional, but I didn’t quite realize that right when they were introduced).

However! I really like how the social situations of the historical time period was set up in the fantasy realm. The White Light was SO snarky and sassy and I loved it (even though it doesn’t . . . really fit what it’s supposed to stand for? but I loved it still!!!). And like lots of other people have said, I like how the two sides–the Igniters and the Keepers–weren’t ALL right or wrong.

ALSO CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT EMMA. I LOVEDDDDDDD her!!! She was amazing, but if I say any more, it’ll all be spoilt. So I’ll shut up about it. BUT EMMA.

The magic was also super cool! Although it could probably have been defined better, I really liked how the concept of it worked, and it really fit into the time period well too. Also: the StoNe PlaGue??!?!?! It sounds so real and horrifying and yipes.

My Rating-

7/10

Things Liked-

  • No right or wrong side
  • The White Light
  • EMMA
  • The magic system
  • Historical portrayal in the fantasy world
  • The allegorical side of things
  • Cool time period to write about: I’ve not read Gunpowder Plot fiction before!

Things Disliked-

  • A bit long and slow in the beginning
  • Thomas himself?
  • Feels a little incoherent sometimes?

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.

17 Things I Learned While 17 || I’m an ADULT NOW

Hello, friend! Today’s blogspot is an exciting one: I turn EIGHTEEN (18!!!!!) in a few days, and so today, we’re talking about 17 Things I Learned While I was 17!

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  1. Popsockets are the greatest thing to ever exist.
  2. Don’t ask multiple people if they want to hang out . . . if they’re all free, you have an issue. a big one.
  3. Professional people may appear professional . . . until you stalk their social media
  4. I REALLY LOVE teaching music. Teaching music is awesome.
  5. Driving isn’t that hard. You just have to not step on the brake so hard that the wire breaks, rending the entire car useless.
  6. Getting into troll arguments on twitter is counterproductive and useless . . . unless it’s about homeschooling.
  7. College classes are fun . . . provided you get a good professor, but stILL.
  8. College applications . . . just start them early. For your sanity, for your parents’ sanity, for your dog’s sanity, JUST DO IT.
  9. Spotify is an amazing thing.
  10. I’m old enough to have friends who are married. Not sure how that happened.
  11. E-books are amazing because you don’t have to cart liTERAL books around . . . side effects include staying up until 4am reading
  12. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but . . . it doesn’t hurt either
  13. Money is SO HARD TO GET
  14. DAILY Bible reading is so, SO helpful.
  15. Grades are important. but not thAT important.
  16. Graduation is one of the most exhilarating things ever
  17. It is, in fact, possible, to leave EVERYTHING you’ve ever known and live . . . though maybe not without tears

And that’s it! What’s something you learned recently? Also, e-books–yay or nay?